Dog owners are being reminded that under regulations in force since March 2016, all dogs over 12 weeks of age must be microchipped and registered on an approved database.
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD issued the call to dog owners and also urged anyone thinking of giving a puppy or a dog as a Christmas present to buy or adopt from a reputable source, and to make themselves fully aware of the significant commitment, including financial, that becoming a pet owner represents. Seeing a pup in its home environment with its mother is a good way to verify this.
He said that the microchipping regulations impose obligations on both buyers and sellers. “I understand this is a significant change in the way people are accustomed to buying and dealing in animals. However, these rules are vital to enable early reunification of lost dogs with owners, protect the welfare of dogs and to protect animals against sheep worrying”.
Creed also reminded parents thinking of buying a dog as a pet for Christmas to give careful consideration to the future care of the animal. “A number of animal welfare groups have recommended that people do not buy puppies as Christmas presents at all. However, if you are going to do so, please buy or adopt from a reputable source. A reputable dog breeder will have ensured that pups they sell are correctly microchipped and vaccinated and have the right paperwork. These procedures provide reassurance that the dog has probably been raised in proper conditions. There is no such reassurance where dogs are bought illegally and of unknown provenance”.
“If you are thinking of getting a dog this Christmas, make sure you are fully aware of what is involved in caring for it, including the financial commitment.
Concluding, the Minister noted that there are currently four authorised databases: Animark, Fido, The Irish Coursing Club and The Irish Kennel Club. An authorised database must provide a certificate which indicates the owner and provides a form for changes of ownership to be registered. Buyers and sellers are also required to indicate that they have verified the identity of the person they are dealing with. “If details are not correctly kept up to date, you will remain legally responsible for a dog you may have sold. This will encourage people to ensure registered details are up to date. ”